Mr Daniels Chandra

Hear from Mr Daniels Chandra as he shares his passion for BIM and vast work experiences in BIM with us.


Mr Daniels Chandra
Mr Daniels Chandra,
Director – BIM, ONG&ONG Group

Daniels drives BIM initiatives within ONG&ONG Group and responsible in managing BIM strategic direction for ONG&ONG headquarters in Singapore and other country offices including Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, India and USA. He developed the framework, protocol, project implementation strategy and BIM Execution Plan (BEP) for multi-disciplinary studios including ‘ONG&ONG’ designer teams, ‘Rankine & Hill’ engineer teams and ‘Project Innovations’ teams for project management collaboration.

Under Daniels’ leadership ONG&ONG deploys a centralised BIM management to maintain consistency of the process and output across many studios. He established a centralised BIM studio with the team comprises of BIM managers and specialists who are trained to assist various ONG&ONG Group studios in project implementation, software training, change management process and resolving BIM technical issues. Furthermore Daniels is also responsible for company’s business opportunity related to BIM, design technology and innovation.

Daniels holds a Master of Architecture degree from University of New South Wales, Australia and has been contributing his BIM knowledge and expertise for the BCA’s Singapore BIM guide, BCA’s BIM Manager forum and Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) BIM / Resource and Technology Committee.

Prior to joining ONG&ONG Daniels has worked with a number of leading architecture firms in Sydney, Australia where he spent over a decade of his career. During his time there he contributed his design and technology expertise to a number of high-profile Australian commercial and government projects in which he successfully implemented BIM technology.

1. Q: Could you share with us about your passion for BIM? What motivated you to adopt BIM in your work and take up BIM as a career?
A: BIM fulfils my passions for architecture and technology, at least for now. Technology is catching up really fast and as an architect I am quite fortunate to experience different ways of designing from hand sketches, physical model, CAD, 3D and now BIM. I always like new technologies and BIM technology is nothing like those previous technologies (eg. 3D, CAD, etc.), it is a paradigm shift! Another great thing about BIM is it involves the entire process of construction which open the opportunity beyond design.

2. Q: How long have you been using BIM technologies/tools? Could you share with us your personal struggles or challenges with BIM and how you overcame them?
A:  I have more than 18 years’ experience in architecture / building industry and spent more than 10 years dealing with BIM project and technology. I started to learn BIM when I was working in Sydney Australia and managed to introduce Revit as a BIM authoring tool to my ex employer. My personal struggles was more related to the BIM hardware, at that time a fast computer was really expensive compared to what’s available today. As in the project situation the biggest challenge is always the resistance from team members due to a mindset change. Showing a real project example is probably the most effective way to promote BIM to new users.

3. Q: In your opinion, how has BIM changed the way things are being done in the local construction industry? What more do you think, could be done to encourage greater implementation of BIM and process transformation in the industry, not just at the design stage of a project but throughout the entire building project lifecycle down to facilities and assets management?
A: Currently in our local construction industry BIM is still at the early stage. It is fragmented and not fully collaborated throughout all stakeholders as it should be. Most of us just started to learn how to model and only a few that have been utilising BIM downstream such as database integration, 4D, 5D, etc. However the adoption is progressing very well especially with the support from government with the funding scheme, awareness, user forums, etc. Hence more companies start to see the benefit of documenting the design in BIM and get motivated.

Building owners / clients will play the important part especially if we would like to implement BIM throughout the FM stage. Education to the client is part and parcel of the BIM journey, it is an understanding of the process involved and it is not an education about the software. Process will involve work-flow, resource management, expectation as well as fee structure which are critical in the BIM implementation.

4. Q: What advice would you give to those who would like to learn all about BIM or take up a career in BIM?
A: Learning BIM is not just about the software but the person also need to have industry experience eg. architecture, engineering or construction. If you have a solid industry experience coupled with an excellent BIM skill you hit the right spot.

5. Q: Where do you see BIM in Singapore in the next 3 to 5 years?
A:  BIM adoption in Singapore will be more mature as there will be more firms implementing this challenging process. Coordinating and managing BIM project will become the key issues in the next few years, the role of ‘BIM Manager’ will shift towards more on managing BIM project a.k.a Virtual Design Construction (VDC) management and coordination through collaboration. As supposed currently most BIM managers are just focusing on training, support or modelling issues.

6. Q: Where do you see yourself in this BIM journey in the next 3 to 5 years?
A: BIM is a long term journey, I would still involve in BIM, helping others embarking this exciting paradigm and at the same time get ready for the next new big thing in the construction industry.